The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Review | Is This Rain Jacket Worth It?

When you’re out adventuring in the mountains, you’re constantly trying to find that delicate balance between staying dry and protected from the outside elements while also avoiding sweat build-up on the inside from exertion. The North Face tackled this problem with their Futurelight waterproofing technology, and they might just have found the solution!

I am notoriously known for sweating profusely when hiking, especially on big ascents. So I went searching for the most breathable rain jacket I could find and stumbled across The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket. I was immediately impressed with the acclaimed 75K breathability rating and naturally, I had to test it myself to see if it lived up to the hype!

Since owning the TNF Dryzzle rain jacket, I have put it to the test in New Zealand’s rugged landscape on several big adventures like the Gillespie Pass Circuit and the Shotover Saddle Route. From my thorough testing, I can honestly say that this 3-layer jacket is incredibly breathable, lightweight and comfortable for all-day use. But is all that worth the hefty price tag?

In this post, you’ll find a detailed honest review and explanation for each component of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket. I’ll discuss the jacket’s best attributes and factors that I think can be improved.

Hiking on Gillespie Pass wearing The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

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My Honest Review Of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

Quick Info On The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

Price: $500 AUD ($360 sale for olive colour)
Material: 75D FUTURELIGHT 3L 100% recycled polyester face, 100% recycled nylon tricot backer, PFC-free DWR
Waterproofing / Breathability: 18K / 75K
Weight: 433g
Vents: None
Pockets: Two waist pockets, 1 internal chest pocket
Colours: Men’s: military olive, black, blue | Women’s: black
Sustainability:
100% recycled materials, PFC-free DWR
Warranty / Return: Warranty Policy
Activity: Hiking / Everyday

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket product photo

Positives:

  • Highly breathable, even in warmer conditions
  • Comfortable and stylish for everyday or all-day use
  • Sustainably made
  • Lightweight compared to other 3-layer rain jackets

Negatives:

  • The jacket doesn’t bead well like other DWR-treated options
  • The jacket feels heavy and cold in a prolonged downpour
  • It doesn’t dry fast which is a problem for cold alpine conditions

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket is a technical 3-layer shell boasting a lightweight and breathable design that’s suitable for big mountain adventures. The Futurelight membrane features an innovative ultra-thin nanomembrane that creates airflow while keeping water out for better breathability.

What you can take away from the technical jargon is that this is a rain jacket designed for high-exertion activities and warm weather ascents – and it does a damn good job.

Who Is The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket For?

Standing on Gillespie Pass wearing my TNF Dryzzle Rain Jacket

If your highest priority for your rain jacket is breathability and comfort, then you will be hard-pressed to find another jacket that will compare. This is the ultimate choice for big ascents and warm-weather hiking when the chances of sweating are 100%.

While you will find other rain jackets with better waterproof performance, such as the Rab Namche GTX jacket, that is a trade-off that some will be happy to make in order to have the leading rain jacket in breathability.

Size and Fit

Standing with my hands in the pockets of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

The North Face Dryzzle rain jacket is marketed as a slim fit, but I would have to say it’s more of a relaxed fit. The centre back length is 72 cm (for a medium), making the hem sit just below my hips. The jacket doesn’t feature a longer back – which I would have liked to see for extra protection.

With that said, I prefer the relaxed fit as it allows me to easily layer underneath when the temperature plummets. Furthermore, the cinching capabilities around the hem and wrists make it a simple task to tighten the jacket to prevent water from entering.

As for the sizing of the Dryzzle jacket, I found that I could have gone down a size. This is consistent with what I have experienced with all of my TNF gear – however, most reviews state that it was either true to size or a tad too tight so it’s best to try it on at home before committing to the purchase.

Weight Of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

Hiking to Devil's Punchbowl in New Zealand

This is one of the lightest 3-layer rain jackets you’ll find on the market, other than the extremely lightweight Macpac Traverse jacket which weighs an astonishing 330g. The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight jacket has an average weight of 433 g for men and 387 g for women.

But what’s more impressive is the fact that the lightweight properties don’t impede the durability of the jacket. This is a factor that is of highest priority for me so I was pleased to see that I could get the best of both worlds with the Dryzzle jacket.

If durability isn’t as big of a concern for you, then you can generally save weight by choosing a 2.5 or 2-layer jacket such as the XTM Tarkine rain jacket. However, in doing so you’ll also sacrifice slightly on comfort.

Packability

Stuffing The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket into its stuff pocket
Packing The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket into my hiking backpack

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket features an internal zippered pocket where you can stuff the jacket into to compress its already small size. Once it’s packed into the zippered pocket, you’ll find a loop that can be attached to a carabiner so you can hang it on the outside of your pack when it’s wet. 

This stuff pocket is a handy feature that does make it smaller and better to carry. But honestly, I find myself rolling it into the hood on most occasions as it’s quicker and easier.

Is The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket Comfortable

The comfort of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket is exceptional. The 3-layer shell has been constructed in such a way that even when you’re slightly sweaty, the jacket doesn’t stick to you or make you feel like you’re wearing a plastic bag – which happens all too often with cheaper designs.

I was surprised with just how comfortable the Dryzzle was next to my skin after testing it in the hot and humid forests of Bali. While Candace felt sticky in her 2.5-layer XTM Tarkine rain jacket, I felt fresh the whole time.

TNF Dryzzle Futurelight’s unrivalled Breathability

Standing on Gillespie Pass with my TNF Dryzzle Jacket open

This is the main component that sets the TNF Dryzzle rain jacket apart from its competition and I can honestly say that the breathability has exceeded my already high expectations. The unique nano-sized fibre has been created small enough to allow air to flow through the membrane while keeping water out or sacrificing wind protection.

This new technology has removed the need for pit zips for ventilation, which in turn has allowed The North Face to reduce the overall weight of the jacket. 

With all that said, I still sweat when climbing mountains in moderate heat – but I don’t believe any of the best rain jackets out there will ever stop me from sweating completely.

Waterproofing Of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight

Standing under the Devil's Punchbowl in Arthurs Pass in my TNF Dryzzle Waterproof Jacket

There is always a trade-off for rain jackets as it’s nearly impossible to excel at every component. And this is where The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket falls short.

Don’t get me wrong, the Dryzzle rain jacket will keep you dry in a downpour. But the outer shell of the jacket becomes soaked and heavy, which makes you feel as if your skin is damp even when you’re not.

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket soaked after heavy rain
Outer shell soaked after heavy downpour
Open Rain jacket showing dry clothes underneath
Completely dry mid-layers after heavy downpour

Honestly, I think this has more to do with the DWR treatment than the Futurelight technology, but I am no expert on the matter so I can’t say this with absolute certainty.

While this doesn’t phase me too much as the most important thing is to stay dry underneath, it does mean that the jacket takes longer to dry compared to others I have owned. This can be a problem if the temperature drops below freezing overnight and you end up with an icy jacket…

Is The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket Durable?

Doing up the front zip on my North Face Dryzzle Waterproof Jacket

After using the TNF Dryzzle rain jacket in some seriously adverse conditions, I am surprised at just how tough the fabric is for its weight. I’ve pushed through overgrown forests and scaled some gnarly boulder gardens and am yet to find even a slight abrasion on the shell.

The outer shell of the Dryzzle jacket is constructed with 75D polyester and from the moment you pick up the Dryzzle jacket, you’ll feel just how durable the material is. Furthermore, the zippers and other features on the jacket feel strong and work efficiently. If anything changes as I continue to wear my TNF Dryzzle rain jacket, I will update this article.

Features Of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket

Hood

Rear pull cord adjustment on TNF Dryzzle Futurelight Hood
Internal pull cord to tighten hood on the Dryzzle Rain Jacket

The North Face Dryzzle rain jacket features two pull cords inside the collar of the jacket and another at the back to fully customise the fit of the hood. While this design allows the pull cords to be hidden and out of the way, it does make adjusting the hood quite annoying as you have to unzip the collar each time.

Pockets

Hand Warmer Pockets on the Dryzzle Waterproof Rain Jacket

You’ll find two handwarmer pockets with reverse entry and a storm flap to prevent water from entering through the zip. These are placed at the hips, which is slightly too low to use with a hiking backpack on.

The TNF Dryzzle also has an internal zippered chest pocket which is the perfect size to hold your phone or other valuables that cannot get wet. This is also the pocket that the jacket stuffs into for ease of packing.

Vents

The North Face Dryzzle rain jacket doesn’t have pit zips or other vents because of its highly breathable membrane, which eliminates the need for extra venting. The absence of pit zips reduces the jacket’s weight and enhances its waterproof capabilities around the torso. 

But despite the positives, I still would have preferred the addition of pit zips to further increase breathability.

Hem and Cuff Adjustments

Hem adjustment on The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight

The hem of the TNF Dryzzle rain jacket can be cinched using the two tabs located at either side of your hips. These are hidden inside the jacket and are easy to adjust on the go.

The cuffs feature a velcro tab which enables you to tighten the cuffs around your wrists to prevent water from entering while you’re walking. When the velcro is loosened, the cuffs are sufficiently large enough to easily pull your hand through – which I have noticed isn’t always the case with some rain jacket designs.

Sustainability

Standing in the forest wearing The North Face Dryzzle Rain Jacket

The North Face have been working hard to increase their sustainability efforts in recent years by designing more recycled products and cutting back on their greenhouse emissions and water usage. While they still have a ways to go, their transparency with their efforts and the range of high-quality recycled products makes me happy to recommend The North Face gear.

Regarding the Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket, you’ll find the face and backer fabric is made of 100% recycled material (which makes up 90% of the jacket) and the shell is coated with a PFC-free DWR treatment. 

From my experience thus far, I believe that this jacket will have a long life thanks to its rugged build quality but if that changes, I will update this post to include further information on the longevity of the Dryzzle jacket.

Value Of The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Waterproof Jacket

The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight jacket is priced in the mid-range for 3-layer technical rain jackets, offering a balance of quality and affordability. The only jacket that you’ll find with similar specs and a much lower price range is the Patagonia Torrentshell.

In all honesty, the price of the Dryzzle rain jacket put me off a little. But after experiencing the incredible comfort and breathability of this product, I would consider buying the TNF Dryzzle again. However, before doing so, I’d like to see the issue with the DWR coating resolved as having a wet jacket for hours after a hike is not ideal on multi-day expeditions.

My Experience With The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

Why I Chose The North Face Dryzzle Rain Jacket

Hiking in the forest with the hood up on my North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Jacket

The driving factor for choosing The North Face Dryzzle rain jacket was its promise of exceptional breathability and comfort. I wanted a jacket that I could happily wear on an alpine ascent without having to stop to cool down every few hundred metres.

How It Performs

I am pleased to report that the TNF Dryzzle rain jacket performs incredibly well for breathability, comfort and protection in harsh winds, allowing me to push on for far longer than usual without getting too hot and sweaty.

The rain jacket has kept me sufficiently dry underneath during heavy downpours, even while getting too close to the monstrous Devil’s Punchbowl waterfall at Arthurs Pass. However, the outside of the jacket becomes soaked quickly, which can make me feel cold and damp – although I’ve still stayed dry underneath.

Where Do I Wear My TNF Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket?

Hiking in New Zealand wearing The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight Rain Jacket

I find myself reaching for my TNF Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket for summer adventures and anytime I know there will be a great deal of elevation gain involved. The only time I leave my Dryzzle rain jacket at home is when the forecast is calling for big downpours or I’m going on a multi-day expedition where I need a quick-drying rain jacket.

Final Thoughts

If you’re searching for the ultimate rain jacket for breathability, then you won’t be disappointed with the TNF Dryzzle Futurelight jacket. This is the jacket I reach for on big ascent missions and I can’t rave about the comfort enough!

However, if you find yourself adventuring in seriously wet climates often, then perhaps this jacket isn’t the one for you.

I hope that my review on The North Face Dryzzle Futurelight rain jacket has helped you make your decision. If you have any further questions about this jacket, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or reach out via Instagram.

Happy Hiking 🙂